Categories > Anime/Manga > Naruto > Herald of the End

Chapter 1: The Paths Taken

by MachFarcon 5 reviews

AU. The world can be forever changed by the simplest of choices. When Sakura takes a different path home one day after the Academy, the events that follow will shake the world. Konoha, what have yo...

Category: Naruto - Rating: R - Genres: Drama,Romance - Characters: Hinata,Naruto,Sakura - Warnings: [!!!] [V] [?] - Published: 2015-01-19 - Updated: 2015-05-07 - 3051 words

So this is one of the numerous plots that currently won't leave me alone. Let me know if you guys want to see more of this story. If so, I'll continue it. If not, I'll move onto another plot bunny.

For this plot, it starts as Naruto cannon with a few key differences.
First, the Biju are absurdly powerful. This in turn, also makes Jinchuriki also very powerful. Thus, most ninja don't try to mess with the Jinchuriki. After all, why poke the sleeping dragon?

Secondly, Naruto is almost completely a Kinesthetic learner. Also, since it isn't explicitly stated in cannon that the Kyubi can see though Naruto's eyes, I am marking that as different then cannon. Since in this one, the Kyubi can see though Naruto's eyes. In addition, given that Naruto will end up a tad bit brighter eventually, the Shadow Clone Technique will not transfer memories. The person who performed the technique will know the clone got dispelled, but will not gain the memories.

Thirdly, the third Hokage is much less the "grandfatherly" type and more of the professor type. Also, the spy crystal ball requires that the user have more chakra then the person they are spying on. Normally this isn't an issue since the Hokage typically has the most chakra...


It's funny. It really is. How the world can change forever with the simplest of choices. How something as simple as taking a different path home, talking to someone new, or saying one line too many can change everything.
It's funny. It really is. Because if you don't laugh, what can you do?

The Biju. The tailed demon beasts. Walking localized apocalypses. Unfathomably powerful constructs of chakra. They were as titans to ants when compared to the humans. But humans are clever. What they cannot overcome with strength, they will fight with cunning.

And eventually human cunning allowed for a respite against the Biju. Each Biju was sealed into a ninja from a different shinobi village. These ninja were called Jinchuriki. While the monstrous power of the tailed beast was made inert by being sealed within the ninja, the power of the Biju could not be completely cut off from the world. Each Jinchuriki was granted great and unique powers from their tenant sealed within. They stood far above their fellow ninja in terms of power, men amidst ants.

But carrying such a power was not an easy task, nor was it one that was wanted by many. For even though the Biju was sealed away, it's power and malice were not so easily dismissed. The life of a Jinchuriki was a lonely one. For many feared that the beast within the Jinchuriki could influence the jailer. These fears were not unfounded. Sealing was simultaneously an art form and also a indefinitely complex language. Sometimes the teams of ninja that sealed the beast underestimated the power of the Biju and soon, the Biju would attempt to break free. Such fears were held by many in the ninja villages.

However, not all was bleak for the Jinchuriki. For sometimes they would be approached by more open-minded individuals. In time, these open-minded individuals would often become friends with the Jinchuriki. Jinchuriki, having felt the loneliness of life, would defend their true friends from any threat. It was often said, when thinking of attacking a Jinchuriki's friends, reconsider. Twice. And as far as attacking a Jinchuriki; Don't.

The ninja village of Konoha came under attack by the most powerful of the Biju, the nine-tailed demon fox. The Kyubi. In the space of a half hour, over half of the entire city was destroyed by the rampaging monster. When all hope seemed lost, the fourth Hokage; the village's beloved leader, strode onto the battlefield. On that day, Minato Namikaze stood against the impending utter annihilation, and denied it.

No one is completely sure of what happened between Minato and the Kyubi. But when the dust was settled, the Kyubi was defeated. Minato had sealed the Biju, single-handedly, into a new-born baby. Sadly, the strain of fighting such a monster was too much for even the famed "Yellow Flash". As he died, he was at peace, trusting in the third Hokage and his beloved village of Konoha.

Unfortunately, his trust was grossly misplaced. For scarcely after an hour after the last of the dust had settled; the young baby, named Naruto, was almost assassinated; his caretakers saving the baby by only the slimmest of margins.

It was then that Hiruzen Sarutobi, the newly re-instated third Hokage, made his first meaningful act as Hokage. He ordered that all talk of Naruto's Jinchuriki status was to be banned, under the pain of death, for he feared for the life of the baby. The baby Naruto would be sent to the orphanage, along with the other orphans, and was given the last name of Uzumaki.

But Hiruzen seemingly underestimated the darker side of human emotion. As time went on, the rumors of what had happened that night, concerning young Naruto, slowly spread. And the pain of those who suffered under the demon fox's rage began to change into hate. Soon, ironically, it became widespread belief in the village that young Naruto himself was the reincarnated powerless Kyubi. And like all hateful people, they began lashing out at the object of their hate. After a mob was stopped by the Hokage's personal guard, the village got smart. They began a carefully orchestrated plan that would deprive young Naruto of any friends or education. They also began to find ways to find the Jinchuriki alone, and there they would extract their vengeance.

It has been over nine years since that fateful night...

Naruto Uzumaki grinned happily to himself as he prepared for the day. Today was Practical Physical Day! Naruto loved these days. He wasn't very good at theory or testing, but he was quite good at the physical aspects of the shinobi world. His extremely high stamina, increased healing rate, and his unstoppable determination led him to easily dominate any physical challenge. Minus, of course, sparring matches. Those seemed to always have rules that prevented Naruto from winning often.

Never the less, today was going to be a good day!

The Kyubi snorted at his container's thoughts. He wondered yet again why he had gotten such a stupid jailer. For the longest time, many years ago, the Kyubi was sealed within a different jailer. His jailer at that time was named Mito Uzumaki. The seal had kept the Kyubi trapped in a endless white plane, the fox itself chained to a floating rock.

Eventually Mito grew too old to continue housing the Nine-tails. Kushina Uzumaki, another member of Mito's clan, was chosen to house the beast. After the Kyubi was transferred to Kushina, she would often visit the Kyubi in the endless plane to talk about her life and the world around her. She unintentionally became the Kyubi's only window into the outside world.

Then, abruptly, the Kyubi was released and then resealed into Naruto in short order. But Naruto's seal was different. Unlike all of the previous seals, Naruto's seal allowed the Kyubi's potent chakra to constantly leak, in a very miniscule trickle, into its container. It also allowed the Kyubi to experience the world though Naruto's eyes. And for the first time, it saw the darker side of humanity. The side that hated, feared, and loathed a small boy, who had no idea what he had ever done wrong to receive such hate. All the Kyubi could do was heal his little container once the beatings were over. And the Kyubi began to hate. As the years and beatings grew, it began to hate more. One day, the Kyubi promised itself, this village would pay. All of them. Well, besides those two at the ramen stand. They had treated his jailer well. They got to live.

Naruto opened the door to his classroom at the Ninja Academy. As he entered, his sky-blue eyes swept the classroom, looking for a seat. Suddenly he was spun around and knocked to the ground as two girls, Ino Yamanaka and Sakura Haruno, sped past him in an effort to reach the seat located next to their "true love" Sasuke Uchiha! Ino's blonde hair whipped about her head as she shoved Sakura away at the last second, claiming the spot next to Sasuke with an exuberant cry of victory, much to Sakura's loud proclamations of dismay.

Naruto was unaware of any of this, however. He had instead succumbed into unconsciousness as his head had slammed into the metal door frame when he was knocked down. A slow trickle of blood leaked from his newest head wound as he lay there still.

Mizuki had been prepared to have a terrible day. Not only would he have to put up with a bunch of little brats running and screaming about, he had to also watch the demon child enjoy itself. His day, however, suddenly became a lot better when he was about to enter the classroom he was supposed to teach in. The little demon fox was laying on his back, blood slowly pooling around his head. "The stupid little shit probably slipped and hurt itself." Mizuki thought to himself, highly amused. It was unfortunate, but Mizuki knew that such an injury wouldn't keep the demon-spawn down for long. It was in that instant Mizuki had a stroke of genius. He knew exactly how to ruin the demon's day!

Naruto let out a slight groan as he sat up. "I wonder why my head hurts." He thought. He slowly rubbed the back of his head as he stood up, the headache disappearing as he did so. Naruto blinked when he looked at the hand that had been rubbing the back of his head. It was covered in blood. Had any observer looked closely at Naruto in that moment, they would have come to the chilling realization; that Naruto wasn't particularly worried about his own blood covering his hand, but rather he was simply curious to how he had been bleeding. It was almost like this hadn't been the first time...

Seeing the demon stand up, Mizuki carefully manufactured a look of great concern before he called Naruto over to his desk. "This was going to be great", Mizuki thought, being careful to keep any emotion that wasn't the manufactured care off his face.

Naruto made his way over to Mizuki-sensei's desk. He wondered what he had done wrong now. Mizuki looked over at Naruto as he stepped up to his desk.

"Naruto. I saw that you slipped and fell trying to walk through the door." Mizuki made no effort to lower his voice, nor did he attempt to stop the class from laughing at Naruto's perceived clumsiness as he continued, "And with such an injury I cannot, in good conscience, allow you to participate into day's events." Mizuki paused, inwardly savoring the moment before continuing, "Why don't you go to your parents and have them get you checked out by a medic-nin. I'm sure they would care enough about you to help you out!" The look of shocked pain and sadness in the little shit's eyes made Mizuki's week. Hell, it practically made his month!

As Naruto opened his mouth to protest, Mizuki let some of his anger at the fox bleed into his voice as he reprimanded Naruto. "You're not going to defy the orders of a teacher are you? That's grounds for expulsion you know!" Mizuki watched Naruto's countenance fall as he whispered out an apology and quickly left the class with slumped shoulders. Mizuki could barely withhold the utter glee from appearing on his face as he watched the demon fox leave his class room, not noticing that the events had drawn the attentions of two of his students.

Sakura felt slightly confused. She didn't like Naruto in the slightest. He was loud, annoying, untalented, and rather stupid. But...somehow...when he left, it felt like the room was just not as bright as before. After a moments of contemplation, she shook her head, her pink hair swaying from side-to-side as she did so. Why should she care about that looser? With those encouraging thoughts in mind, she turned back around to continue arguing with Ino about the seating arrangement.

Hinata Hyuga also watched Naruto leave the class. However, unlike her other classmates, she watched Naruto with a sinking feeling of dismay. There was something just so...wrong with Naruto's continence being down. It just didn't fit with her view of the sunny-haired eternally happy blonde she watched from afar. Her eyes cut to Mizuki-sensei, and she felt that something was off. That he somehow had made Naruto sad. And if that was the case, Hinata felt a very uncharacteristic surge of anger towards her sensei. A small portion of the quiet and gentle girl felt horror at the darker turn of her thoughts, but most of her wondered how hard it would be to turn off her teacher's tenketsu or his chakra pathways...

Naruto sniffled to himself as he left the Academy, his teachers unintentionally hurtful words echoing in his mind. With a deep shuddering breath, Naruto shoved all the pain and hurt he felt deep inside. After all, if they never knew what hurt you, they wouldn't try the things that really hurt.

"So I can't train today at the academy, huh?" Naruto thought defiantly, "Then I'll just train myself! I'll show them! I'll train myself to be the best ninja ever!" Naruto finished his thoughts with an exultant fist pump, before excitedly running off to grab his kunai and shuriken, not realizing that his mask of unending happiness was unconsciously slipping back into place.
The Kyubi grinned to itself at his container's words. His jailer, while still rather stupid, had enough determination to rival even the strongest ninja. Granted, it didn't matter as much since determination alone wouldn't get them far in life, but it was a good thing to have none the less.

The Demon Fox eyed the newest crack in his container's mindscape. It wouldn't be long now until Naruto broke. Then they would all pay!

Sakura hummed happily to herself as she skipped down the path towards home, the Academy having let out for the day. Normally she would have walked though town, but today she had decided to walk the more scenic route. Her happy thoughts about "Sasuke-Kun" were suddenly and irrevocably shattered when a kunai whizzed by her head! With a shocked and frightened look on her face, she hesitantly looked in the direction that the kunai had come from. Her fear quickly turned to anger as she saw Naruto staring at his raised hand in confusion.

"Why did the kunai fly backwards?" Naruto wondered in befuddlement as he stared at his hand. His wonderings were abruptly shattered when Sakura's fist crashed down on his head. "Baka! What were you thinking! You could have hit me!" Sakura screamed as she shook her fist in Naruto's face.

"I was just trying to learn how to throw kunai!" Naruto explained as calmly as he could while holding onto his temporally hurting head. "What about the pictures in our text book, Baka! Why didn't you look at those?" Sakura shot back, annoyed at Naruto's lack of proper studying habits as well as his general stupidity.

"What pictures?" Naruto asked, rather stupidly in Sakura's opinion. Sakura, spying Naruto's textbook laying on the ground, unopened, stormed over to it and began flipping to the kunai section, preparing to show the baka exactly what she was talking about.

Sakura opened the correct page with a angered flick of her thumb. "See Baka! The pictures are" Sakura's voice trailed off as she looked down at the page and saw no pictures or diagrams of how to throw a kunai. She wasn't even sure there was any useful information on the page at all! "That can't be right." Sakura mumbled to herself as she double-checked the page number from the reference page.

Sakura set Naruto's textbook down and pulled out her own textbook. Flipping to the kunai section, she was greeted by numerous pictures and diagrams. She cast her gaze towards Naruto's textbook. They had the same page number! What was going on? She just didn't understand! Naruto's hesitant voice brought her out of her confused thoughts.

"Could I look at the pictures real quick?" Naruto shyly asked Sakura, expecting to be turned down. Sakura blinked before shrugging. It couldn't hurt, could it? She held the book up for Naruto to look at. Naruto slowly looked at each picture, a look of intense concentration on his face. Suddenly a look of complete comprehension passed over his face and he abruptly walked over to pick-up a discarded kunai.

Sakura, in spite of herself, was slightly curious of what could make Naruto of all people think he understood something. Naruto's hand snapped forward. He stared at the target. Sakura stared at the target unbelievingly. Naruto had hit the inner ring of the target!

"M-maybe it was just a fluke?" She questioned. Naruto nodded, knowing that he wasn't this good normally. He then proceeded to flick all of the other kunai he had on his person at the target, one by one, nearly hitting the center of the target each time!

Naruto turned Sakura and happily thanked her. "Thanks for letting me look at your book Sakura-chan! It helped me out a bunch!"

Sakura felt her cheeks warm slightly as she tried to wave off Naruto's gratitude. "It's all right. It wasn't a big deal." A sudden thought occurred to her. She took a deep breath before hesitantly voicing it. "I'll show you my books each day if you promise to always show up to class and don't be loud."

Naruto gave Sakura his extremely rare true smiles as he nodded, awed that someone would help him. For Sakura, Naruto's smile was so bright and joyful that the sun itself seemed dull in comparison. Naruto stuck out his hand to Sakura. As she shook it Naruto, remembering what Sakura-chan said about being loud, stated firmly; "I'll be everyday in class! And I'll be much quieter! It's a promise of a lifetime!"
And so the world is forever changed.
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